Digital Projection M-Vision Cine 230 DLP Projector


Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $6995 At a Glance: Gorgeous color • Exquisite detail • Excellent shadow detail • So-so blacks • Exceptional video processing • Stellar optics

Digital Projection International (DPI) might not be a familiar projector company to many home-theater enthusiasts—at least, not as familiar as Epson, JVC, Optoma, and Sony. But commercial users know the name well, because DPI has been supplying high-end, high-priced DLP projectors for broadcast, theatrical, simulation, medical, education, and corporate applications since 1997. In fact, DPI was Texas Instruments' first DLP partner and the original innovator of the 3-chip DLP projector.

Over the last few years, DPI has been directing more of its efforts toward home-theater applications and now offers seven series of products for that market. The most affordable home-theater model is the M-Vision Cine 230, a single-chip design that offers many of the same features found in the company's more expensive offerings for less than $7000.

Features

  • Single-chip DLP engine using DarkChip4 DMD and 6-segment RGBRGB color wheel
  • 1920x1080 native resolution
  • Lens options include 1.85-2.40 zoom (reviewed), 1.56-1.86 zoom ($500 more)
  • Optimized for Rec.709 (HDTV) color gamut
  • Manual zoom, focus, horizontal and vertical lens shift for flexible placement
  • 2 HDMI 1.3a inputs, 2 component-video inputs
  • User-selectable preset and customizable gamma
  • 10-bit deinterlacer with 3:2 and 2:2 extraction and pixel-based motion-adaptive interpolation
  • Internal test patterns make setup easier, as does blue-only mode
  • Automatically detects active input; this can be a pain if more than one input is active, so I disabled this feature and selected the input manually
  • Aspect ratio and overscan controls are separate and independent, as they should be but rarely are
  • Color space and gamut controls are separate and independent, as they should be but rarely are; in fact, they are rarely labeled correctly as they are here

User Interface

Remote

  • Like many projector remotes, this one is simple and well-organized
  • Inputs can be selected with dedicated buttons, though they are labeled with numbers rather than type of input (HDMI, component, etc.), which would be better
  • Menu settings can be stored in different memory locations and recalled with dedicated buttons; however, there are four memory locations but only three recall buttons
  • Dedicated buttons provide direct access to controls for aspect ratio, contrast, brightness, sharpness, gamma, overscan, noise reduction, BrilliantColor, and color temperature as well as internal test patterns; I wish more TVs offered such direct access to controls without having to navigate the menus

Menu

  • Menus very well organized; can see all parameters and settings as soon as you enter menu system
  • Entering menu system opens last menu accessed; very nice!
  • Menu disappears after 30 seconds of inactivity; timeout should be user-definable

Setup

  • Zoom and focus are adjusted by turning rings on lens barrel; zoom ring is inside chassis cowling, awkward to reach, can easily change focus by accident; set zoom before focus
  • Horizontal and vertical lens shift are adjusted using a supplied Allen wrench in holes on top of case; must remove logo plate to expose holes
  • Quick Start Guide says "logo plate should be gently lifted and rotated to gain access to the adjustment points"; this is not correct—you slide the plate sideways and lift off
  • Adjusting lens shift feels very crude with lots of play in the control before it engages in either direction; still, I was able to align the image on the screen very well using internal test pattern
  • Setting basic picture controls presents no problem; projector passes below-black and above-white, allowing easy setting of brightness and contrast
  • Saturation and Hue controls unavailable with HDMI input; blue-only mode confirmed that they were set correctly
  • White-on-black crosshatch pattern reveals slight chromatic aberration, but not nearly as bad as some I've seen, indicating good optics
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COMMENTS
Otis857's picture

What a sweet way to get into a Home theater. If Im lucky enough to win this projector, what a nice and suitable addition it would make to my Linn HiFi sistem.
Booo Yaaa

gentleman.nosh's picture

I'm really due for a projector upgrade, this would fit the bill perfectly.

Charlycine's picture

Buddha wants me to win this so I can become one with the film.

dflorey's picture

As an owner of an older Panasonic front projector and 90" screen I can attest that front projection beats large TVs hands down

johnspud's picture

Would love to win this. Have the perfect place for it.
I will even pay for the tech. to set it up. Thanks

mdmn22's picture

Winning this would be a great start to my HT room(in planning stages now). And the winner is...

majewski's picture

I think all of us should win this projector and split it into small pieces so that we can all be winners.

Music Man's picture

I'll Move My JVC To The Bedroom If I Win This!!!

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